The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has advised the General Legal Council (GLC), the statutory body responsible for the regulation of legal education in Ghana, to offer admission to all 499 students who were refused admission into the Ghana School of Law for the 2021/2022 academic year.
In a four-page letter addressed to the chairman of the General Legal Counsel, the Attorney General highlighted what he says is the perception “of a lack of transparency and doubts about the integrity of the admission processes into the Ghana School of Law, created by how the admission processes were handled by the GLC in 2021, as well as the enormous public interest generated thereby”.
“These circumstances, in my respectful view, warrant a reconsideration of the decision not to admit the 499 candidates. I am aware that arrangements have been put in place already for commencement of the first-year professional law course by candidates deemed to have passed the entrance examination for the 2021/2022 academic year,” the Attorney General’s letter read.
The Attorney General further indicated in his letter to the GLC that given the observations he has made in his letter and “under Section 1(5) of Act 32, I advise the GLC to (a) grant deferred admission to the 499 candidates with effect from May 2022”.
“A special provision can be made for the first year professional law course by candidates already admitted to run from October 2021 to April 2022. The 499 candidates may undertake their programme from May 2022 and ending in November 2022. Arrangements will have to be put in place for the two sets of candidates to undertake their pupilage and be called to the Bar at a common date in the next two years,” the AG recommended concerning his first proposal.
Alternatively, the Attorney General suggested to the GLC to “grant admission to the entire 499 candidates with effect from November 2021 and provision made for the organization of classes in a way as to be able to cater for the needs of the entire candidates of the Part One Course of Professional Law Programme”.
The third recommendation of the Attorney General to the GLC is for them to “organize a special examination in November 2021 to accord to the 419 candidates an opportunity to justify admission into the Law School for the 2021/2022 academic year. Such examination may be on “essay questions” which properly assess the ability of candidates to reason legally and resolve practical problems”.
Future GLC Examinations
Godfred Dame ends his letter by advising that in the GLC’s further notice “inviting applicants to register for the entrance examination for the 2022/2023 academic year, the basis for a determination of successful candidates be spelt out, to avoid a reoccurrence of the situation experienced this year”.
Aggrieved 499 students
A total of 790 students (28%) out of the 2,824 who sat the 2021 Ghana School of Law entrance exam passed, official figures released by the law school in October 2021 showed.
The figure represents a 10% drop from the total number of LLB candidates who passed the previous year. In 2020, a total, 1,045 out of 2,763 students who sat the entrance examination passed. In 2019, only 128 candidates out of 1,820 succeeded.
Some 499 aggrieved students who sad for the 2021 examination and obtained 50% and above, have accused the GLC of their inability to gain admission following a new quota system introduced after the law school entrance examination had taken place and the results had been released.
The new requirement was that candidates had to score at least 50% in both sections of law school entrance exams to be eligible for entry into the Ghana School of Law. According to the affected students, the new rule was unknown to them before, during and after the exams.